European tourists booking later for long-haul

Travellers fox suppliers by hoping for last-minute deals
Cracks in the European economy are starting to impact long-haul travel to South-East Asia, delegates at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016 have told TTG Asia.
Most have not yet seen dips in demand and forward bookings, but trade players are seeing changes in the way Europeans are booking their trips and choosing travel products.
European travellers, once loved by suppliers for their tendency to book months in advance, are increasingly confirming their long-haul trips much later in hopes of scoring attractive last-minute discounts.
A high-level hotelier with an international chain said that the rising number of late bookings was also a result of “too many hotel options” available in Asia, allowing the increasingly budget conscious Europeans to “shop around” for best rates.
Yves Van Kerrebroeck, deputy managing director at Asian Trails in Bangkok, said: “[The climate in Europe] is not very encouraging at the moment, economically and politically, for people to feel secure about spending on long-haul travel.
“It is very difficult to predict because [Europeans] are more geared towards short-notice bookings even for markets where you traditionally get very long lead times.”
Pande Sutawan, corporate general manager at the Royal Pita Maha in Bali, has noticed shorter booking lead times of up to 30 days, compared to a minimum of two months in better times.
“The stay period remains the same but Europeans are now finding ways to get more value-for-money options,” he said, for example turning to LCCs and Middle Eastern airlines, which are more affordable than South-East Asian carriers.
TTG Asia

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